Metro Briefs June 23

Metro Briefs June 23

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s SteelTree Fund will give three organizations a total of $13,875 in fourth-round 2015–16 funding: Community Day School (CDS), the Friendship Circle and Chabad of Pittsburgh.

The grant to CDS will fund a new program called Shabbat-in-a-Box. The goal of the program is to engage families with CDS through participation with CDS-involved families at Shabbat dinners. A grant to the Friendship Circle will help the organization fund a rooftop gardening club that will use new space to build client-volunteer relationships. The grant to Chabad of Pittsburgh will support Chabad’s second year of the popular Love and Knaidels program. A women’s cooking program, Love and Knaidels offers participants the fun of cooking together and the joy of giving food to others.

The SteelTree Fund, which combines support for the Jewish Federation’s annual campaign with support from the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation, enables SteelTree board members to make a collective impact by designating micro-grants to local organizations and agencies.

SteelTree is actively recruiting new board members. Board members are young adults ages 22-45 who have a desire to make a difference in the Jewish community and a passion for venture philanthropy.

Over the past two years, the SteelTree board has created a vision, set of values, detailed scorecard and an evaluation process that help ensure the selection of deserving fundable projects.

In 2015-16, the SteelTree Fund distributed $45,000 to support innovative community projects such as the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s Living Legacy Project, which enabled professionals to document local Holocaust survivor stories, and the distribution of Jewish rock music to teens by Rick Recht of Jewish Rock Radio.

In the next fiscal year, four rounds of funding will offer additional opportunities for organizations to apply for grants. Application deadlines for each round, respectively, are Aug. 15, 2016; Nov. 7, 2016; Jan. 30, 2017; and April 17, 2017. The contact for grant information is Jason Oppenheimer, Young Adult Division director, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-992-5222 or

The Rauh Jewish Archives will be joined by Shalom Pittsburgh to present the second Jewish History Happy Hour on Wednesday, June 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Heinz History Center Mueller Terrace, overlooking downtown Pittsburgh.

The theme of Telling Your Story will be explored, focusing on young adult organizations and their importance to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, including the history of Emma Kaufmann Camp, Hillel Jewish University Center, the Jewish Community Center and more. Visit the Jewish History Happy Hour’s Facebook Event Page, to learn more.

Friendship Circle teens will be hosting a car wash fundraiser in the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation parking lot, 5898 Wilkins Ave., on Sunday, July 10 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To register your car, contact or call 412-224-4440.

Torah & Tea for Women will be held on Monday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Chabad of the South Hills.  There will be a workshop for creating edible arrangements. RSVP to or 412-512-2330.  Suggested donation is $10.

Temple Sinai invites senior adults in the community to attend an all-inclusive day trip to the Riverside Inn at Cambridge Springs on Wednesday, July 13. The trip, which will leave Temple Sinai at 8:30 a.m. and return at 5:30 p.m., will include lunch and a showing of the musical comedy “The Fantasticks.”  The cost is $48 per person and reservations are due by Monday, June 27. Contact Judy Mahan at 412-421-9715, ext. 110 for more information and to RSVP.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a lunch for seniors on Tuesday, July 19 at noon. Additionally, there will be music and scarf dancing, stories and poetry presented by Audree Pincus Schall, an intergenerational specialist teacher and educator.

There is a $5 suggested donation. Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has named Susan G. Berman, Ph.D., the recipient of the Gerald S. Ostrow (z”l) Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes the special efforts of a volunteer leader who has dedicated significant service to the community and has fostered partnerships among the Jewish Federation and its agencies. Berman received the award at the June 20 meeting of the Federation’s board of directors.

Berman has served as an officer of the Federation board and as a member of the Federation executive committee. In her role as chair of the planning and allocations committee, Berman helped to determine community-giving priorities. She has served on the National Young Life Leadership Cabinet and the Federation’s Community Scorecard committee and chaired the Jewish Community Life Commission and the Young Adult Division. A graduate of the Wexner Heritage leadership program, Berman has served as president of the board of the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center and as a board member of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. She has been an active fundraiser for the Federation’s annual campaign.

The award recognizes an individual who has devoted a significant amount of time over a number of years in service to the community. This individual has served in a variety of capacities in both the Federation and one or more agencies, demonstrated an understanding of and dedication to the mission of the Federation and the agencies, and supported the Federation Community Campaign.